Animal health

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1996:

University of Minnesota researcher Dr. Jesse Goodman and team announced January 24 that they have managed to isolate and grow the bacterium that causes human granulocytic ehrlichiosis, a newly identified and sometimes fatal disease borne by the same ticks as Lyme disease.

Having apparently gotten away with a wind-assisted premature release of the rabbit-killing calcivirus during field tests last September, without apparent harm to species other than rabbits, Australia is now hoping to halt the advance of South American cane toads through the use of the Irido virus, which apparently kills both toads and tadpoles in Venezuela. The cane toads were themselves introduced about 60 years ago, in hopes they would eat insects who plagued sugarcane growers.

PROMED-AHEAD, an online newsgroup on veterinary epidemiology, is accessible by e-mailing the message >>subscribe promedahead<< to >><<.

R.D. Holder, DVM, of Independence, Missouri, drew national notice in December for replacing a neutered Rottweiler’s testicles with FDA-approved “Neuticles,” invented by Gregg Miller as a prosthetic substitute. The public laughed, but “Neuticles” could lessen male psychological resistance to having dogs fixed.

University of Minnesota
researcher Craig Packer confirmed
in the February 2 edition of NATURE
that the virus responsible for killing
more than 1,000 African lions in 1994
was a variant of canine distemper––
probably carried from dogs to lions by
spotted hyenas, jackals, or leopards.
Wild-caught foxes and coyo
t e s brought from North Dakota to
Tennessee for use in chase pens are
bringing along a tapeworm potentially
deadly to humans, Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention division of parasitic
disease chief of epidemiology
Dr. Peter Schantz warned on January
20. About 60% of North Dakota coyotes
carry the tapeworms; the percentage
of infected foxes is unknown.
Hantavirus is reportedly at
large in the vicinity of U.S. peacekeeping
forces in Bosnia, hitting 350
Bosnians in 1995, but as of February
3, no U.S; troops were infected by the
rodent-borne, sometimes fatal illness.
Data published by Clara
Fenger, DVM, in the December 1995
edition of the Journal of Parasitology
indicts oppossums as the chief carriers
of equine protozoal myelitis, or EPM.
“As many as 10% of horses have been
suggested to have EPM,” Fenger
recently posted to PROMED-AHEAD.
“Since this disease is, at worst, fatal,
and at best is performance-limiting,
this is a serious impact. Many more
horses die of EPM than rabies.”

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